Reposted from Five Feet Twenty
Have you ever been picked last for a team? It’s not a good feeling. I know—I’ve been picked last plenty of times.
I’ve also had the privilege of being picked first a couple of times.
Trust me, first is much better. But that doesn’t happen very often, at least it hasn’t for me.
King David knew what it was like to be picked last. He was the youngest of eight boys and was considered the runt of the family. When Samuel was instructed by God to go and anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king, Jesse lined up seven of his sons but did not bother to invite David (Jesse obviously didn’t think David was “king-material”).
When Samuel saw David’s brother Eliab, even he was fooled, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (2 Samuel 16:6-7).
After hearing from God that none of the seven were to be anointed, Samuel asked Jesse if he had any other sons. After Jesse told him about the one in the fields, Samuel had Jesse send for David and he was anointed as the heir-apparent to the throne.
Even though it took 14 difficult years for it to happen and though he didn’t look like royalty, David was crowned as king.
All because God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance.
Though most of us are beyond our playground days, the same feelings of being picked last – or rejection – can easily creep into our lives. We might even find ourselves agreeing with those feelings and thinking that we are no good and not worth much anything. Do any of these sound familiar?
- I’m not worthy to ask for prayer;
- I’m not good enough for the promotion;
- Nobody cares about me;
- I’m a terrible mother (or father);
- I’m not good enough to have a healthy relationship;
- I’m not worthy to ask for help;
- Nobody loves me;
- I must be a lousy husband (or wife);
- It would have been better had I not been born;
- I can’t do that.
Unfortunately, this list could go on forever. I just read that on average we have 65,000 thoughts per day and 65% of those thoughts are negative (that’s 42,250 negative thoughts daily!). We can often be our own worst enemies.
If you have ever had thoughts like these, you are not alone. King David had the same sort of thoughts. Check out what he said of himself to God in Psalm 22:6, “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.”
My first mentor, John Savage, used to tell me that a negative thought is a down-payment on an obligation to fail.
So how to we get out of this rut? There are several keys we can learn from King David:
- It is healthy for us to share our feelings openly and honestly with God, even if we’re angry with Him (after all, He already knows what we’re thinking so it won’t surprise Him!);
- Though we may be anointed or chosen for something, this does not keep us from difficulty (in fact, it may increase the likelihood of trouble – realizing this can help us to not feel there is something wrong with us just because things are not going well;
- When we’re feeling rejected, it would be good that we remember God’s words to Samuel, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Remember, when others saw a small shepherd boy, God saw a king!
I pray that we would all begin to see ourselves as God sees us!